AMC President Embraces Bitcoin Payments After Brush With Crypto
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AMC President Embraces Bitcoin Payments After Brush With Crypto

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Adam Aron said on an earnings call that the struggling theater chain sees big potential in the ‘burgeoning cryptocurrency universe’

AMC President Embraces Bitcoin Payments After Brush With Crypto

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Sometimes, a little education is all it takes to embrace Bitcoin and blockchain.

That was the case at AMC Entertainment, whose president, Adam Aron, announced on an August 9 earnings call that the movie theater chain plans to begin accepting Bitcoin for tickets and at concession stands by the end of the year. 

Aron explained that an outside position as director of a company buying an encryption technology company, Arqit, is what spurred his interest.

“I've had to learn more in the past six months about blockchain and cryptocurrency than I learned about it in the entire decade before that,” he said. “This increased knowledge has given me the confidence to tell you all today that AMC is hereby formally announcing on this call that by year end, we will have the information technology systems in place to accept Bitcoin as payment for movie tickets and concessions if purchased online at all of our U.S. theaters.” 

Crypto To The Rescue?

Beyond that, Aron explained that the company is beginning to explore other ways it can participate in what he called “this new burgeoning cryptocurrency universe.”

There is, he added, a “potentially lucrative business opportunity for AMC if we intelligently pursue further serious involvement with cryptocurrency.”

That’s an important consideration for AMC, which was forced to the edge of bankruptcy by the shuttering of theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The shutdown also accelerated another threat to the industry as studios such as Disney and Warner Brothers indicated they planned to release films in theaters and on their streaming channels like Disney Plus and HBO Max simultaneously.

The company also brushed up against crypto earlier this year when its shares became one of the “meme stocks” embroiled in the Reddit vs. Robinhood battle over Gamestop.
Crypto-friendly trading platform Robinhood faced an angry backlash that spread from its customers to politicians and regulators after cutting off the purchase of shares of Gamestop,  AMC, and other stocks, allegedly to help a hedge fund with which it did business. 

Aron also said that AMC is looking into partnering with Gamestop in some way, although he was very vague on what that would entail.

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